/Jeffrey Epstein’s guards reportedly fell asleep and didn’t check on him for 3 hours

Jeffrey Epstein’s guards reportedly fell asleep and didn’t check on him for 3 hours


The two prison guards assigned to watch Jeffrey Epstein on the night he died by suicide fell asleep during their shift and failed to check on the accused sex trafficker for about three hours, The New York Times reported, citing a law enforcement official and a prison official familiar with the investigation into the 66-year-old financier’s death. 

NBC News said investigators were probing whether the two guards had been asleep when Epstein died in his cell at Manhattan’s Metropolitan Correctional Center on Saturday. Law enforcement sources told the network that no conclusions had yet been made about whether the guards had been sleeping.

According to earlier reports, the pair, who have not been identified by the Justice Department, may have falsified log entries to show they were checking on inmates in the unit where Epstein was held every half hour — even though they hadn’t actually carried out this task. If true, such falsification could constitute a federal crime, the Times noted.

The two guards ― one of whom was not a full-fledged correctional officer ― have been placed on administrative leave in the wake of Epstein’s death. The warden of the jail, Lamine N’Diaye, has been temporarily reassigned.

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NEW YORK, NY – JULY 08: US Attorney for the Southern District of New York Geoffrey Berman announces charges against Jeffery Epstein on July 8, 2019 in New York City. Epstein will be charged with one count of sex trafficking of minors and one count of conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking of minors. (Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY – JULY 08: US Attorney for the Southern District of New York Geoffrey Berman announces charges against billionaire financier Jeffery Epstein on July 8, 2019 in New York City. Epstein will be charged with one count of sex trafficking of minors and one count of conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking of minors. (Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JULY 08: Two of the purported victims of multi-millionaire Jeffrey Epstein, Michelle Licata (L) and Courtney Wild leave a Manhattan court house after a hearing on sex trafficking charges for financier Jeffrey Epstein on July 08, 2019 in New York City. Epstein is charged with having operated a sex trafficking ring in which he sexually abused dozens of underage girls. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY – JULY 08: Two of Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged victims, Michelle Licata (L) and Courtney Wild (R), exit the courthouse after the billionaire financier appeared for a hearing on July 8, 2019 in New York City. According to reports, Epstein will be charged with one count of sex trafficking of minors and one count of conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking of minors. (Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)

In this courtroom artist’s sketch, defendant Jeffrey Epstein, center, sits with attorneys Martin Weinberg, left, and Marc Fernich during his arraignment in New York federal court, Monday, July 8, 2019. Epstein pleaded not guilty to federal sex trafficking charges. The 66-year-old is accused of creating and maintaining a network that allowed him to sexually exploit and abuse dozens of underage girls from 2002 to 2005. (Elizabeth Williams via AP)

NEW YORK, US – JULY 08: David Boies, attorney for the alleged sex victims of the US financier Jeffreey Epstein case, delivers a speech to the media outside the United States Federal Court on July 08, 2019 in New York, United States. (Photo by Atilgan Ozdil/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY – JULY 08: A residence belonging to Jeffrey Epstein at East 71st street is seen on the Upper East Side of Manhattan on July 8, 2019 in New York City. According to reports, Epstein is charged with running a sex-trafficking operation out of his opulent mansion. (Photo by Kevin Hagen/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY – JULY 08: Prosecutors exit the room after US Attorney for the Southern District of New York Geoffrey Berman announces charges against Jeffery Epstein on July 8, 2019 in New York City. Epstein will be charged with one count of sex trafficking of minors and one count of conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking of minors. (Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY – JULY 08: Member of the press listen as US Attorney for the Southern District of New York Geoffrey Berman announces charges against Jeffery Epstein on July 8, 2019 in New York City. Epstein will be charged with one count of sex trafficking of minors and one count of conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking of minors. (Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY – JULY 08: A protest group called “Hot Mess” hold up signs of Jeffrey Epstein and President Donald Trump in front of the Federal courthouse on July 8, 2019 in New York City. According to reports, Epstein will be charged with one count of sex trafficking of minors and one count of conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking of minors. (Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)

United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York Geoffrey Berman speaks during a news conference, in New York, Monday, July 8, 2019. Federal prosecutors announced sex trafficking and conspiracy charges against wealthy financier Jeffrey Epstein. Court documents unsealed Monday show Epstein is charged with creating and maintaining a network that allowed him to sexually exploit and abuse dozens of underage girls.(AP Photo/Richard Drew)

In this courtroom sketch, defendant Jeffrey Epstein, second from right, listens along with defense attorneys, from left, Marc Fernich, Michael Miller, and Martin Weinberg as Judge Richard M. Berman denies him bail during a hearing in federal court, Thursday, July 18, 2019 in New York. Judge Berman denied bail for the jailed financier on sex trafficking charges, saying the danger to the community that would result if the jet-setting defendant was free formed the “heart of this decision.” (Aggie Kenny via AP)

FILE – This March 28, 2017, file photo, provided by the New York State Sex Offender Registry shows Jeffrey Epstein. A judge denied bail for jailed financier Jeffrey Epstein on sex trafficking charges Thursday, July 18, 2019, saying the danger to the community that would result if the jet-setting defendant was free formed the “heart of this decision.” (New York State Sex Offender Registry via AP)

In this courtroom sketch, Judge Richard M. Berman speaking as he denies Jeffrey Epstein bail during a hearing in federal court, Thursday, July 18, 2019 in New York. Judge Berman denied bail for the jailed financier on sex trafficking charges, saying the danger to the community that would result if the jet-setting defendant was free formed the “heart of this decision.” (Aggie Kenny via AP)

In this courtroom artist’s sketch, defendant Jeffrey Epstein, left, and his attorney Martin Weinberg listen during a bail hearing in federal court, Monday, July 15, 2019 in New York. Epstein’s lawyers want him released on house arrest to his Manhattan home while he awaits trial. (Elizabeth Williams via AP)

This courtroom sketch shows Judge Richard Berman as he speaks during the Jeffrey Epstein bail hearing in federal court, Monday July 15, 2019. (Elizabeth Williams via AP)

In this courtroom artist’s sketch, defendant Jeffrey Epstein, left, listens as accuser Annie Farmer, second from right, speaks during a bail hearing in federal court, Monday, July 15, 2019 in New York. Farmer says she was 16 when she “had the misfortune” of meeting Epstein and later went to spend time with him in New Mexico. Accuser Courtney Wild, right, said in the hearing that she was abused by the wealthy financier in Palm Beach, Florida, starting at age 14. Epstein’s lawyers want him released on house arrest to his Manhattan home while he awaits trial. (Elizabeth Williams via AP)

In this courtroom artist’s sketch, defendant Jeffrey Epstein, left, and attorney Reid Weingarten, second from right, listen as attorney Martin Weinberg, right, speaks during a bail hearing in federal court, Monday, July 15, 2019 in New York. Epstein’s lawyers have insisted he will not run. They want him released on house arrest to his Manhattan home while he awaits trial. Courtney Wild, third from left, said in the hearing that she was abused by the wealthy financier in Palm Beach, Florida, starting at age 14. She called him a “scary person” and urged detention “for the safety of any other girls” out there. (Elizabeth Williams via AP)




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Union officials have said the two guards and other staff at the corrections facility had been “severely overworked” in the lead-up to Epstein’s death. Both guards were working overtime on the night of the suicide; one of them was reportedly on his fifth consecutive overtime shift.

Serene Gregg, president of the American Federation of Government Employees Local 3148, told the Washington Post that the Metropolitan Correctional Center was extremely understaffed ― forcing many correctional officers to work overtime and endure 60- to 70-hour workweeks.  

“If it wasn’t Mr. Epstein, it would have been somebody else, because of the conditions at that institution,” Gregg said of Epstein’s death. “It wasn’t a matter of how it happened or it happening, but it was only a matter of time for it to happen. It was inevitable. Our staff is severely overworked.”

The FBI and the Justice Department’s inspector general have launched probes into the circumstances surrounding Epstein’s death ― including why the prisoner, who was allegedly found with injuries consistent with a suicide attempt on July 23, was taken off suicide watch less than a week later and left alone in his cell.

Attorney General William Barr vowed on Monday to “get to the bottom of what happened.”

“We are now learning of serious irregularities at this facility that are deeply concerning and demand a thorough investigation,” Barr said. 

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.

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